- Milena Muzquiz
Frequent Visitors showcases works providing direct encounters with Muzquiz’s wit and her engagement with personal narratives and memories. Her paintings of women surrounded, if not enveloped, by flower blossoms, are recollections of memories of places, oozing with nostalgia. Viewers are invited to share her reminiscences of a semi-imaginary world, recalling her Tijuana birthplace and childhood vacations. The artist’s images and motifs feel familiar, rendered in expressionist brushstrokes. Oscillating between self portraits and unspoiled nature Muzquiz’s interest in dutch still life painting and abstract expressionist artists like De Kooning are evident. Theatricality and music are an essential aspect of her work and paintings are tied to her performance art.
Frequent Visitors, Muzquiz’s fifth exhibition with Travesía Cuatro, also features clay works. There are functional ceramics—frames and water fountains—and a glazed tile mural, which was locally produced in Guadalajara at Cerámica Suro. Her ceramics are an architectural intervention, bringing the outdoors inside. Botanical carvings create an interior garden, The fountains are constructed to resemble animal heads, her motifs from nature evoke serenity, fluctuating between figuration and abstraction.
In her a recent personal statement, Muzquiz explains:
“In these recent years I have been thinking about how to portray the way I see simple things in my own way. Once I make a painting, I can see all my personal history in the work. I can see my early interests in psychedelic literature, my Laura Ashley dresses from high school flowed by my romantic goth phase. The high collared Victorian dresses matched perfectly with black eyeliner and ripped black stockings. The anxieties I felt about being accepted by my parents are still in my brush stroke a tiny pause before I just get on with it.
I was always attracted to the wrong things, I felt like it was embarrassing to like what everyone else did. Jackson Pollock seemed handsome, but as far as painting I found his wife ‘s—Lee Krasner’s—to be way better. I would stand in front of Rothko paintings trying to feel something profound… Everyone said they were spiritual, but nothing would happen to me.
I once saw an exhibition of (the late Italian painter Gino) De Dominicis. He made a series of invisible people sculptures. There are empty shoes placed directly under a tilted hanging hat that hangs from the ceiling. The invisible people are in different poses displayed on pedestals. There was a spirituality to it because it questioned your faith. Feeling that dread every time you make a gesture that is personal and about to be revealed, outside yourself is actually what faith is: hence spiritual.
My mother was very good at doing adventures when we were kids, she loved the hills of Chihuahua and would take us into the caves in Copper Canyon to grind corn and learn from the tribe. She would take us to theme parks in LA: Ranging Waters and Knotts Berry Farm. My father would take us to steak houses and fishing in Baja California. All those experiences are in every gesture that comes out in the material of this work. The show is about the past and how it is constantly coming back in physical memory.”
 Her international reputation as a performance artist was established as one half of the art band Los Super Elegantes, which she co-founded with Argentinian Martiniano López Crozet in the 1990s.